Essex police to take enforcement action over 'blatant breaches' of Covid rules
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Where reasoned conversation has not been successful, Essex Police will take enforcement action against people flouting Covid-19 rules, the force has said.
With one in 18 people in parts of the county now having the virus, it said it would respond to "blatant breaches of the regulations" in order to protect and serve its communities.
The position comes amidst warnings from the Metropolitan Police which has instructed officers to enforce lockdown laws more “quickly” and accept fewer “reasonable excuses” in an effort to save lives, along with Government facing calls to allow police to enter people’s homes to break up gatherings.
Essex Police said it will continue to use the four Es approach – engage, explain, encourage and enforce.
A spokesperson said: “With regards to how Essex Police plans to enforce the regulations and why it is important to ensure residents are following the rules, our position remains the same as it has always been.
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“Essex Police will continue to use the same common-sense approach to the regulations that we’ve had throughout the pandemic – we’ll engage with people, explain the regulations, and encourage them to do the right thing.
“Where reasoned conversation has not been successful we will take enforcement action.
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“We will also continue to respond to clear and blatant breaches of the regulations in order to protect and serve the county and take enforcement action when that occurs.”
Much like the lockdown in March, residents are instructed to stay at home except for a handful of permitted reasons. Exercise outdoors will be allowed only once a day and outdoor sports venues must close.
On Wednesday, January 6 director of health for Essex Mike Gogarty said around 1 in 18 people in parts of South Essex are now thought to have the virus.
He added that this infection rate could soon reach the whole of Essex.
Leader of Brentwood Borough, Councillor Chris Hossack has urged people to follow the rules.
Cllr Hossack said: "We must each take responsibility for our actions and know that what we do now directly affects those around us and the speed at which we get out of this pandemic."